I have been very fortunate in the past six months to go on several recruiting trips with my oldest son. He is a Senior at Dallas Christian School in Mesquite and has been actively recruited to play college football. On these trips, the coaches and administrators do a good job. They talk about the school, the culture, the course work, and what kids need to do to be successful on and off the field.
One of the most common themes they discuss is time management. After hearing what they had to say, it became crystal clear to me:
The coaches and faculty at EVERY school said that time management was the single greatest challenge for freshmen football players. You see, not only do they have to take a full course load; they also have to practice, play games, lift weights, and travel frequently. If they don’t sleep too, then nothing else works. It is a lot to handle. I think entrepreneurs have the same struggle.
As an entrepreneur, you have to balance sleep, relationships, spousal requirements, children, other family obligations, and often times a full time job. I think this is one of the main reasons more people don’t start businesses. I also think it is the main reason people go out of business. If these demands aren’t managed properly, they will completely overwhelm even the strongest person.
So, here is my summary of what I heard the coaches tell the young men on these recruiting trips, modified to fit an entrepreneur:
- Understand you have 24 hours
- 8 hours for your primary job
- 8 hours for sleep
- 8 hours for your other activities
Part Time Entrepreneur With a Full Time Job
- Sleep 6 hours:
- Minimum of six hours. Anything less and you will not be able to preform at your full potential.
- Personal time 1 hour:
- This can be watching one of your favorite shows with your spouse, going on a walk, or eating BBQ!
- Full time job 10 hours:
- I factor ten hours for commuting and work. I don’t think you should give a company more than that, whether you own it or not.
- Family 3 hours:
- I factor in four hours a day to spend time with those you love.
- Whether you are not married or do not have children, this would be replaced with dating or social time.
- I recommend using 30 minutes of this time to be physically active. Take a walk, work out, play with your kids.
- Side hustle 4 hours:
- You are left with four hours to use as FOCUSED energy to develop, craft, and/or launch your business. If you need more than 6 hours sleep, this is where you deduct from, unless your full time job doesn’t require ten hours.
- This gives you plenty of time to take online courses, write copy, and anything else you need to do.
- Modifications for weekends and days off:
- Add any days off into the family category first. This is most people’s “Why”, so take advantage of it.
- After family, add some personal time in. Make yourself happy. Find religion, physical fitness, or the outdoors.
- Lastly, add an hour of dreaming. Find something about your new/future business you want to revolutionize.
Full Time Entrepreneur
- Sleep 7 hours:
- Minimum of seven hours. You need to become a high performance individual. Someone who is elevated. You do that by resting your body and your mind.
- Personal time 2 hours:
- I like to eat BBQ. Some people like to work out. Some people like to golf. Find a passion and pursue it. Be selfish.
- Working IN your business 5 hours:
- If you spend more than five hours in a day working in your business, I think you are crazy. What is the entire reason you are an entrepreneur?
- Working ON your business 2 hours:
- Everyday, DREAM. Watch online videos, design new websites, look for automation. Use this time to make more time you don’t have to work! That is the point of all this!
- Family 8 hours:
- “I wish I had less people who care about me”, said no one ever on their death bed.
- Money will not make you happy. Don’t sacrifice your time on earth (especially when your kids are young) by working too much.
- Modifications for weekends and days off:
- The beauty of being an entrepreneur is that you don’t have to worry about this. If you set it up right, every day is a weekend and any day can be a day off. If you set it up wrong, you have a crappy job and your boss (you) is a crazy person.
This is a very long post, but something I feel strongly about because I have made a lot of mistakes in the past. Unfortunately, I’ve sacrificed a lot of my time with my kids building businesses and given up too much to make everything “bigger” and “better”. My message here is many times, less is more. My brother in law has always said to me, “keep it small and keep it all.” In the past, I made fun of him. Now, I think he was right.